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Congressman Matt Cartwright

Representing the 17th District of Pennsylvania

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Cartwright Announces $463,223 in USDA Funds for The Wright Center

Nov 14, 2018
Press Release

Scranton, PA – Today, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development division awarded The Wright Center a $463,223 Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant to enable doctors to communicate with patients via electronic technology. This is part of USDA’s Rural Development’s broad portfolio of programs to improve the lives of rural Americans.

This vital USDA investment will allow The Wright Center, based in Scranton, to more effectively connect with its rural primary care partners as they integrate medication assisted treatment (MAT) for patients with OUD as part of the Pennsylvania Coordinated Medication Assisted Treatment (PAC-MAT) initiative. Funding will enable more than 300 individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) to access primary care and appropriate social supports through technology.

“The opioid epidemic has had devastating effects throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. As a member of Congress, I will always speak up for ways to improve and expand access to treatment. I applaud The Wright Center for seizing the opportunity to remove barriers to services and training for patients and practitioners in our rural communities,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Medical providers are scarce in rural areas and transportation challenges are prevalent throughout the region. Telemedicine removes barriers that can hinder an individual’s path to recovery and is becoming more prevalent in the health care industry as providers and patients seek ways to deliver and receive more accessible, affordable and effective care.

“The Wright Center is honored to be a recipient of this significant USDA federal award that will advance our mission to continuously improve education and patient care in a collaborative spirit to enhance outcomes, access and affordability. The awarded resources will energize our continued efforts to serve and promote the recovery of patients and families struggling with addiction. This opportunity to intentionally integrate a thoughtful Telemedicine and Information Technology infrastructure into the distributed practices of our PAC-MAT hub across our regional and rural communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania will multiply our recovery promotion efforts and outcomes reporting,” said Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD, President and CEO of The Wright Center.

The Wright Center is a non-profit, community-based graduate medical education consortium and safety net provider of primary care services, serving Northeastern Pennsylvania for more than 40 years. Its team is focused on innovations to make primary care more efficient, effective and satisfying to patients and providers.